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Press Release

Release Date: July 01, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Children from Ardmore earn first diploma

More than 50 prekindergarten students from Ardmore were among a large group of Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood and Head Start students celebrated in May graduation ceremonies.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and Chickasaw Nation Lt. Governor Chris Anoatubby presented each student with a diploma during their ceremonies, which were hosted across south-central Oklahoma.

Chickasaw Princess Faithlyn Seawright and Chickasaw Junior Princess Jayla Underwood offered the invocation at the event.

Chickasaw Nation Head Start Director Robert Pickens addressed each crowd and spoke of the role education plays in children’s lives.

“Head Start is the first step to building a good foundation for growth and learning to help remove any barriers to a child’s success,” Pickens said. “Our commitment is to enhance our nation’s children and families through education, which is the key that opens many opportunities and prospects in life.

“It has been shown children who complete Head Start are more likely to graduate from high school and college,” he said.

The early childhood and Head Start centers provide school readiness instruction and parent support to children ages 3 through 5.

The program is a comprehensive, family-focused resource, with appropriate preparation for educational success. Students have access to individualized education plans, health and wellness screenings, nutrition services and family engagement. Cultural instruction rounds out the knowledge base that children receive. Upon graduation, they are ready to succeed in kindergarten.

The Chickasaw Nation Early Childhood Program is tribally funded and serves Chickasaw citizens. The Head Start centers are both federally and tribally funded and serve students from any federally recognized First American tribe.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Preference is given to Chickasaw, First American and low-income families, as well as children with disabilities.

For more information or an application, visit

To view and download 2022 graduation photos, visit